14th March 2011, www.lankabusinessonline.com
Imports of all types of vehicles to Sri Lanka rose 75.9 percent to 359,243 in 2010 amid strong economic growth which increased demand and also a cut in state taxes for cars, government data showed.
Imports of motor cars rose four fold to 23,072 in 2010 from 5,762 a year earlier after the state cut some taxes on cars imported by ordinary citizens. In December alone 4,583 cars were imported.
Sri Lanka has kept taxes on cars imported by ordinary people at high levels blocking their access to cars at high rates while giving tax slashed cars to state workers and completely tax free cars to lawmakers in parliament.
This year Sri Lanka is to remove a long-standing discriminatory law that protected rulers and state workers from income taxes.
Rights workers have pointed out that Sri Lanka's constitution lacks absolute guarantees of equality to automatically outlaw unjust and discriminatory laws.
Motor cycles imports rose 51.2 percent to 204,811 in 2010, with 20,000 being brought down in December alone.
The number of economical scooters are also rising in Sri Lanka's streets including those driven by females, showing an increase in the freedom of mobility of the female population.
Three wheeler vehicle imports rose 120 percent to 85,648. Three wheelers are mostly used as commercial taxis. Bus imports rose 237 percent to 2,491. Goods transport vehicles including lorries and trucks rose 36.2 percent to 11,467.
Land vehicles, which includes tractors and 'hand tractors' rose 28 percent to 19,664. Unspecified 'other' vehicles rose to 9,382 from nothing a year earlier.
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